Photocropology sounds like the study of something unmentionable….it isn’t, I just made it up (at least nothing showed up when I Googled it a minute ago…. so, you heard it here first folks). It’s the science of cropping a picture for your scrapbooking project. You keep the photo and get rid of the “crop”….you know, all the distractions, the things in the background that have nothing to do with the vibe you want for your page, or maybe even a blurred or less than flattering image (the person picking their nose in the background for example). Most scrapbookers learn how to crop their photos in the very beginning of their journey. It is usually a painful process for some because they have a deep attachment to the whole photo and cutting out parts of it is just, well, unheard of. Cutting your pictures used to mean that you could fit more photos on a page. Now, how you crop a photo is as much of a design element as any embellishment. How we cut our pictures invites our audience to look closer, focus on a part rather than the whole, and helps us define the story we want to tell in the process. There are many scrapbooking artists that constantly blow me out of the water with their fresh and unique voices. Take a look at this lay-out I snagged from Donna Downey’s Scrapbook album…
I know the picture is little, it’s a thumb nail and it’s on purpose…… I want you to look at her album to get a better look. Donna has an amazing way of highlighting the moment. Every person that looks at this picture sees a pretty little girl and her amazing smile. Sometimes a part of the picture really is greater than the sum of all the little parts. When you are at your own desk, working on your own page, concentrate on the elements. Ask yourself, “what was this moment about?”, “what is it that made me want to take this picture?”, “what is the thought or story I want whomever looks at this years later to get from this?” When you ask yourself these questions, the picture will come into focus a bit clearly, you will think about what you want to stay in the picture and what doesn’t belong there. It is a distilling process that leaves us with the “good stuff”. For those wanting to take their art to the next level, I encourage you to spend some time over at Donna’s site and if you get the chance to take a class with her, give yourself that gift- it’s worth it!
By sarah hodsdon